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Pacquiao: We’re bringing Jeff Horn fight to Philippines

Anthony Mundine Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao is putting some roadblocks in front of a rematch with Australian welterweight Jeff Horn for their rematch. First off, Pacquiao won’t be able to fight the undefeated Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) on November 12 like Top Rank and Duco Events had planned. Secondly, Pacquiao wants the Horn fight to take place in the Philippines.

Pacquiao says he cannot fight Horn in November because he doesn’t have time free from his senate position in the Philippines. He won’t be free until sometime in 2018.

If there’s money for the Horn-Pacquiao fight to take place in the Philippines, then the match might be able to take place there. But this could very easily end up in the same boat as Pacquiao’s fight against Amir Khan. There was supposed to be some businessmen with money to bring the fight over to the UAE. Unfortunately the money never materialized. So instead of Pacquiao fighting Khan, who appeared to prefer as opponent, he ended up fighting Horn, the guy that Arum had wanted him to fight. Horn is co-promoted by Arum and his Top Rank promotion. In hindsight, Pacquiao probably would have been better off fighting Khan, as he’s not known for roughing up his opponents. Horn rouged up Pacquiao all night long in their fight earlier this year on July 2, and the referee never took points away from Horn.

”It will not push through there in Australia, but we are bringing the fight here in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said to radio station DZBB. “This will be good for our country’s tourism.”

This is starting to sound a lot like Pacquiao and his fight with Amir Khan that fell through. I’d be very surprised if the Pacquiao-Horn fight ever takes place in the Philippines. Even if Arum were to do one of his rematch specials and put Pacquiao in with Horn 4 times in a series of rematches, I can’t see any of the fights ever taking place in the Philippines. The location of the Pacquiao-Horn fights will obviously be dictated by the venue that brings in the most money.

Australia appears to be the place where the money is at for fights involving Jeff Horn. If Pacquiao were to fight someone else in the welterweight division, then a fight in the Philippines would likely be possible. But if he wants the most money, Horn is probably the guy to fight. There are arguably far more talented fighters in the 147 lb. division than Horn, but they don’t bring in the PPV money that he can in the U.S.

The first hurdle isn’t a big deal, but the second one in which Pacquiao says he wants the fight to take place in the Philippines may ultimately prevent it from ever happening unless he changes his mind and agrees to fight the 29-year-old Horn in his native Australia. That’s where the most money can likely be made. Pacquiao wants the rematch with Horn to avenge his bitter defeat to him on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao lost a 12 round decision that he probably should have won.

Pacquiao was asking for trouble by agreeing to fight Horn in his home country of Australia rather than in a neutral venue. That was mistake number 1. When you’re a popular fighter like Pacquiao, it’s probably not a good idea to fight in little known opponent’s backyard. Mistake No.2 was for Pacquiao to brawl with Horn instead of boxing him. Horn looked like he had at least a 15 lb. weight advantage in the fight. The weight advantage was accentuated by the rough style that he used for the fight. Horn is a lot like Saul Canelo Alvarez in that he’s popular in his weight division, but not necessarily the best fighter. He just has the most fans, and he’s been carefully matched.

Horn hasn’t fought the dangerous guys like Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. If he’d fought them, then he’d likely have been beaten a number of times already. He’s with Top Rank, and he’s lucky in that respect. They’ll probably never match him against those fighters. Horn will instead fight guys like Pacquiao, Terence Crawford and Jessie Vargas, Konstantin Ponomarev, as well as the fighters in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15 ranking.

Horn could be put in with Anthony Mundine, 42, next if he can get his weight down from 175 to 147 to make the weight happen. Mundine is a big PPV attraction in Australia. However, Mundine has fought most of his career at super middleweight (168), and it’s going to be a tough ask for him to lose enough weight to get down to 147. Mundine has fought at 154 in recent years, but he’s looked drained at that weight. I can’t imagine Mundine getting all the way down to 147 to fight Horn. I think Mundine probably can, but he might be so weak from making the weight that he won’t be able to give a good fight of it.

“Y’all want to see it? I’ll show y’all he ain’t what they say! I’ll hit him with more combinations than a bank.” Mundine said on his Facebook site.

I don’t know how that helps Horn to fight Mundine at 154 if he’s required to defend his WBO welterweight title. Of course, if Top Rank smooth’s things out with the World Boxing Organization to let Horn skip defending his WBO title against the challengers in the sanctioning bodies’ top 15. You can argue strongly that it wouldn’t be fair to the top contenders for Horn to start facing guys outside of the welterweight division instead of defending his title. This is boxing though.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the WBO allows Horn to freeze his title so he can take a money fight against Mundine at 154. Would the NFL allow a team to tell the league that they’re going to take a timeout from their schedule to go face an Arena Football team for a nice payday? I’d say probably not, but that’s the difference in boxing and other sports. Champions can sometimes do what they want, while the challengers have to sit and wait patiently for an eventual title shot. The whole thing with rematch clauses and such is something that hurts the contenders waiting for their title shots. With champions have rematch clauses in their contracts for some of their title defenses, it creates rematches and this further hurts the contenders waiting for their title shots. You don’t get rematch clauses in the NBA and NFL. When a team loses, they lose and it’s season over. You don’t get another shot at the Super Bowl or NBA Championships because you worked out a deal with a team. Unfortunately, I think it’s very likely we’ll see Horn fight Mundine at 154, while his WBO 147 lb. title is frozen, waiting for him to get that fight out of the way so he can come back and defend it against Pacquiao in a rematch as part of their rematch clause.

What’s unclear is if Horn loses to Mundine. Does the WBO strip Horn of his welterweight title or do they ignore the loss and let him defend the belt against Pacquiao. One fighter that I don’t see getting a chance to fight Horn anytime soon is No.2 WBO Lucas Matthysse. He’s not with Top Rank, so I would seriously doubt that Matthysse will be the one that faces Horn in November or December now that Pacquiao is out of the picture for the remainder of this year.

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